1979 Philadelphia Phillies season

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1979 Philadelphia Phillies
Major League affiliations
Location
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (since 1883)
  • Other information
    Owner(s) Robert "Ruly" Carpenter III
    General manager(s) Paul Owens
    Manager(s) Danny Ozark, Dallas Green
    Local television WPHL-TV
    Local radio KYW
    (Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, Andy Musser, Chris Wheeler)
    Previous season     Next season

    The 1979 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League East, 14 games behind the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Offseason[edit]

    Prior to the 1979 season, Pete Rose signed a four-year, $3.2-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, temporarily making him the highest-paid athlete in team sports. The Phillies were in the middle of the greatest era in the history of the franchise when Rose came on board. They had won the National League East three years running (1976–78) two of which were won with 101 win seasons.

    The Phillies entered the 1979 season with one of the strongest lineups in the league with the addition of Rose but with numerous injuries on the pitching staff. AP sports writer Hal Bock picked the Phils to finish second behind the Pirates as the Phillies would enter the season with pitchers Larry Christenson, prospect Jim Wright, and Dick Ruthven all injured.[1]

    Notable transactions[edit]

    Regular season[edit]

    PhilsAshburn.PNG
    Richie
    Ashburn

    OF, TV
    Retired 1979[12]

    On April 18, in a victory versus the Pirates, Greg Luzinski became the first visiting player to hit a home run into the fifth level of Three Rivers Stadium.[13]

    On May 17, 1979, the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 at Wrigley Field in ten innings with a 30-mph wind blowing out to left field.[14] After the game, the Phils were 14 games over .500 and in first place by 3½ games over the Montreal Expos.[15]

    On July 10 Del Unser hit his third consecutive pinch hit home run. Unser tied a Major League Baseball record with homers in three straight pinch at bats. The at bats were on June 30, July 5, and July 10.[16]

    By August 29, the team had fallen to fifth place and two games under .500, 12½ games behind the Pirates.[17] Mid-season injuries to Manny Trillo, Larry Bowa, and Greg Luzinski contributed to hurt the club. The team's decline led to the firing of manager Danny Ozark on August 31 who was replaced by Dallas Green.[18] Green was named interim manager, a position made permanent shortly after the end of the season.[19]

    Alternate uniforms[edit]

    The Phillies front office introduced an alternate all-burgundy version of the team uniform for the 1979 season to be worn for Saturday games.[20] They were called "Saturday Night Specials", in a derisive nod to cheap handguns then called by that name and were worn for the first and last time on May 19, 1979,[21] a 10-5 loss to the Expos.[22] The immediate reaction of the media, fans, and players alike was negative, with many describing the despised uniforms as pajama-like.

    Season standings[edit]

    NL East W L GB Pct.
    Pittsburgh Pirates 98 64 -- .605
    Montreal Expos 95 65 2 .594
    St. Louis Cardinals 86 76 12 .531
    Philadelphia Phillies 84 78 14 .519
    Chicago Cubs 80 82 18 .494
    New York Mets 63 99 35 .389

    Notable transactions[edit]

    Roster[edit]

    1979 Philadelphia Phillies
    Roster
    Pitchers Catchers

    Infielders

    Outfielders Manager

    Coaches

    Player stats[edit]

    Batting[edit]

    Starters by position[edit]

    Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    1B Rose, PetePete Rose 163 628 208 .331 4 59
    2B Trillo, MannyManny Trillo 118 431 112 .260 6 42

    Other batters[edit]

    Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    Gross, GregGreg Gross 118 174 58 .333 0 15
    Meoli, RudyRudy Meoli 30 73 13 .178 0 6
    Rader, DaveDave Rader 31 54 11 .204 1 5
    Poff, JohnJohn Poff 12 19 2 .105 0 1

    Pitching[edit]

    Starting pitchers[edit]

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    Carlton, SteveSteve Carlton 35 251 18 11 3.62 213
    Espinosa, NinoNino Espinosa 33 212 14 12 3.65 88
    Christenson, LarryLarry Christenson 19 106 5 10 4.50 53
    Larson, DanDan Larson 3 19 1 1 4.26 9

    Other pitchers[edit]

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO

    Relief pitchers[edit]

    Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G W L SV ERA SO
    Bird, DougDoug Bird 32 2 0 0 5.16 33
    Brusstar, WarrenWarren Brusstar 13 1 0 1 6.91 3

    Farm system[edit]

    Level Team League Manager
    AAA Oklahoma City 89ers American Association Lee Elia
    AA Reading Phillies Eastern League Jim Snyder
    A Peninsula Pilots Carolina League Ron Clark
    A Spartanburg Phillies Western Carolinas League Bill Dancy
    Short-Season A Central Oregon Phillies Northwest League Tom Harmon
    Rookie Helena Phillies Pioneer League Roly de Armas
    LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Central Oregon[27]

    References[edit]

    1. ^ Hal Bock (March 27, 1979). "Pitching holds key to Phillies' title defense". The Free-Lance Star. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
    2. ^ Jeff Schneider page at Baseball Reference
    3. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/castica01.shtml
    4. ^ Pete Rose page at Baseball Reference
    5. ^ Joe Charboneau page at Baseball Reference
    6. ^ Mark Davis page at Baseball-Reference
    7. ^ Manny Trillo page at Baseball Reference
    8. ^ Jose Moreno page at Baseball Reference
    9. ^ a b Rudy Meoli page at Baseball Reference
    10. ^ Dan Boitano page at Baseball Reference
    11. ^ Del Unser page at Baseball Reference
    12. ^ The Official Site of The Philadelphia Phillies: History: Richie Ashburn
    13. ^ Palm Beach Post. 1979 Apr 19.
    14. ^ "Box Score of Game played on Thursday, May 17, 1979, at Wrigley Field". Retrieved October 13, 2009. 
    15. ^ Standings and Games on Thursday, May 17, 1979
    16. ^ The Ballplayers - Del Unser | BaseballLibrary.com
    17. ^ Standings and Games on Wednesday, August 29, 1979
    18. ^ "Phillies dismiss Ozark as manager". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 31, 1979. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
    19. ^ "Phillies to select Dallas Green". The Bulletin. October 18, 1979. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
    20. ^ Okkonen, Mark. "Dressed to the Nines: Uniform Database (1979)". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2008. 
    21. ^ Paul Lukas (August 23, 2007). "Uni Watch: One and done". Uni Watch. ESPN.com. Retrieved October 13, 2009. 
    22. ^ "Box Score of Game played on Saturday, May 19, 1979, at Veteran's Stadium". Retrieved October 13, 2009. 
    23. ^ Todd Cruz page at Baseball Reference
    24. ^ Jim Kaat page at Baseball Reference
    25. ^ Roy Smith page at Baseball Reference
    26. ^ Jim Lonborg page at Baseball Reference
    27. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007

    Further reading[edit]